Audience for mobile apps

This article is specific to Audience Solutions.
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Audience segments are a powerful method to uniquely engage your mobile app users using contextual cues such as a user's subscription type or recent game level.

Audience segments for mobile apps

Mobile apps don't utilize cookies, so Audience Solutions use mobile advertising IDs and PPIDs to define segments. When creating first-party audience segments to target for your mobile app, you have the following options:

As your audience segment collects members, you can view a breakdown of your audience segment's membership by mobile device type.

Use cases for Audience for mobile apps

The following use cases for segment creation are applicable to mobile apps. Use them as a basis to create your own audience solutions.

Notes:

  • In some of the cases described below, you could also use custom targeting criteria to achieve the same effect. The downside to the custom targeting criteria approach is that the custom targeting criteria would need to be passed for every ad request.  Adding users to an audience segment is a one-time operation (assuming the audience segment's expiration value is set high enough), and it enables these users to be targeted by segment for all subsequent ad requests.
  • Users for first-party segments that are being built via ad serving are added immediately to lists. If you are using pre-population, a data management platform, or Google Marketing Platform, or other segments types, population times vary. Learn more about how segment changes are reflected in ad serving and the user interface.

Subscription-based segment creation

These segments are useful for targeting users of your apps depending on their subscription level.

Example 1: Show ad “X” to users who are premium/paid subscribers of your app; show ad “Y” to users who are free subscribers to your app.

Example 2: Show no ads to users who are paid subscribers of your app; show ads to users who are free subscribers to your app.

How to build the segment

To use Audience Solutions to add members to these segments, place an appropriate audience pixel or ad unit on the subscription post-purchase confirmation page.

To build the segment using pixel tags:
  1. Follow directions to create first-party audience segments using pixel tags.
  2. Place the Audience pixel tag on the subscription payment page.
To create the segment using ad units:

If you have an ad unit configured to request ads on the post-payment confirmation page, then follow the directions for creating a first-party audience segment. Target this segment to the appropriate ad unit.  This may be a less common use case than building the segment through pixel tags, since many developers won't be displaying ads on a payment confirmation page.

 

Level-based segment creation

These segments are useful for targeting individuals who have made it to a certain level in your game or app.

Example: Show ad “X” to users who are playing on levels 1-4 of your app; show ad “Y” to users who are playing on levels 5-9 of your app, and so on.

How to build the segment

To build the segment using pixel tags:
  1. Follow directions to create first-party audience segments using pixel tags.
  2. Place the Audience pixel tag on the landing page of the levels that, when reached, define the visitors you want to target.

To create the segment using ad units:

If you’ve already set up inventory in your app, then follow the directions for creating a first-party audience segment. Select the ad units corresponding to the levels that, when reached, define the visitors you want to target.

Activity-based segment creation

Build an audience segment based on how often visitors have used certain apps or parts of apps.

Example: Show ad “X” to users that have reached the “Advanced” level of your app 5 times in the last 2 days.

How to build the segment

To build the segment using pixel tags:

  1. Follow directions to build first-party audience segments using pixel tags.
  2. In the example above, you would make the following selections:
    1. For Page views, enter 5.
    2. For Recency, enter 2 Days.
  3. Place the Audience pixel tag on the section of the app on whose usage you want to build the segment.

To build the segment using ad units:

If you’ve already set up inventory in your app, then follow the directions for building a first-party audience segment.

  1. Select the ad units corresponding to the section of the app on whose usage you want to build the segment.
  2. In the example above, you would make the following selections:
    1. For Page views, enter 5.
    2. For Recency, enter 2 Days.
  3. Place the Audience pixel tag on the section of the app on whose usage you want to build the segment.

Conditional-based segment creation

Build an audience segment based on a logical grouping of activities or other segments, such as a visitor who made a purchase within an app but hasn’t been back for a given period of time.

Example: Show ad “X” to users who have made an in-app purchase in the last week but have not made it past level 1 (meaning, they are new to the levels and should buy a sword!).

How to build the segment

  1. Create an audience segment based on users who have made an in-app purchase in the last week. This is similar to a subscription-based segment, above.
  2. Create a second audience segment based on users who have made it to levels past level 1 (a level-based segment).
  3. In the “Behavior” section of the first segment, target the second segment in an “is not” relationship. Learn more about conditional targeting in the article on creating audience segments.
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